The Cleveland Browns signed running back Kareem Hunt on February 11.
About five minutes later the speculation began that running back Duke Johnson’s time in Cleveland was over.
Second-year running back Nick Chubb is the No. 1 option and Hunt, once he finishes his impending suspension from the NFL, offers an explosive player to the offense.
So while general manager John Dorsey said last week that he likes the idea of a “three-headed monster in the run game,” there are only so many carries to go around and passes to be caught.
The rest of the NFL must be thinking on similar lines as there are at least three teams sniffing around Johnson in the hopes that the Browns trade him, according to cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot, and more will “likely surface” if the Browns decide to actually trade Johnson.
Cabot didn’t link any teams to the trade interest, but Miami radio host Andy Slater said that the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles are potential suitors:
SLATER SCOOP: Eagles and Cowboys have both expressed interest in trading for Browns RB Duke Johnson, source tells me.@MaryKayCabot first reported interest by multiple teams.— Andy Slater (@AndySlater) March 4, 2019
It still seems odd that the Browns would be willing to move on from Johnson, especially given that they still have no idea how many games Hunt will miss this season.
Johnson may have had a strange year in 2018 with career lows in rushing attempts and receptions, but he still averaged five yards per carry and 9.1 yards per reception. He is also still the same player who set franchise records for a running back with 74 receptions and 693 receiving yards in 2017.
Johnson had more than 500 receiving yards in each of his first three seasons, joining Herschel Walker as the only running backs in league history to achieve that mark.
Hopefully Dorsey was telling the truth about wanting to keep Johnson on the team, because there is no doubt the Browns are better off with the Duke on the roster.